HORSHAM People For Animal Welfare And Support has welcomed a legislative push to regulate ‘backyard breeders’, but said the government must do more to stop the practice.
The government introduced a bill to overhaul Victoria’s Domestic Animals Act on Tuesday aimed at reforming the breeding and pet shop industries.
Horsham PAWS’ Carolyn Stow said the move was fantastic, but more should be done to ensure all animals had safe, happy lives.
She said it was hard to know whether the change would reduce mistreatment or simply force operations underground.
“It’s hard to say what’s going to occur,” she said.
“I’d love to see it go further to something similar to what South Australia is looking at doing where unless you are a registered breeder all animals have to be desexed and microchipped to limit reproduction. Whether Victoria will get there on those lines I’m not sure.”
Under the proposed change, pet shops would no longer be able to sell puppies or kittens unless they came from a pound, shelter or foster carer. The amendments would also reduce the number of fertile female dogs a breeder can keep from 350 down to 10. Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said the government crack down would force people to register as a breeder if they had one fertile female dog or three fertile female cats, and sold their offspring.
Ms Stow said backyard breeding of dogs and cats was a devastating practice.
“I’d love to see backyard breeding stamped out,” she said.
“I’d really encourage people to adopt through a rescue centre, there’s some beautiful animals looking for homes. A lot are caged with very limited human interaction. They’re not well rounded dogs and are breeding, which often passes on genetic conditions.
“We known particularly dogs really need that engagement with people, patting and playing and being able to walk on grass. In a lot of breeders they don’t have that. They purely breed and sell the puppies and kittens.”